Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Pub: 2/10/2015
Pgs: 320
ARC Provided by Edelweiss

"I spend a lot of time wondering what dying feels like.  What dying sounds like.  If I'll burst like those notes, let out my last cries of pain, and then go silent forever.  Or maybe I'll turn into a shadowy static that's barely there, if you just listen hard enough."

Aysel has led a pretty tragic life.  A few years back people would have mistaken her for your average teenager, now she's a pariah.  Her family barely talks to her, her school mates treat her like the devil, and everyone else is watching her like a time bomb.  You see, Aysel always lived with her father.  He was strange but he was the home she always knew she could count on.  He battled with mood swings that could sometimes leave her suffocated, until one night he took it too far and destroyed more than one life.  Empty, Aysel is trying to find a way out of this torment of everyday existence and if one day she will turn into the monster that claimed her father.  That is when she stumbles across a website that gives advice on how to successfully commit to suicide. 

Enter Roman; he had everything a young guy would want.  He was popular, a skilled athlete, and a great family.  After one stupid night and a tragic accident Roman can't bare to live anymore.  He has also found solace on the suicide website that Aysel is on.  The thing about this website is that people find comfort in committing the act with another person. Aysel and Roman will become partners in this endeavor to end their misery, but while they are constantly doing gut checks with each other to make sure neither one will back out they both seem to want an excuse to stay.

I loved this book because teen suicide is a big thing, more so now than ever before.  A lot of the times these teens grow up but not out of the "phase" of depression and have to struggle with this as well.  Aysel and Roman might have been similar in the case that they wanted to commit suicide but their reasoning was different and their journey, while done together, lead to very different places.  What touched me about this book is the author's note: "Finally, I hope this story has reminded you of the people in your life who matter.  Hold them dear, be kind to them, and remember life is fragile.  I wish you all a very kinetic and beautiful life."  No better advice can be given when dealing with suicide.  Sometimes loved ones don't understand or can't deal with someone they love not wanting to live.  Instead of being an ear or a shoulder to lean on, we can become harsh and throw words like "selfish" and phrases like "you're hurting me when you say this."  Yes, they get it, but throwing those words or phrases at them only adds to their hurt and self loathing.  Very important messages in this book.

4 stars.  Thanks Edelweiss!

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